If you own a vehicle, you know how to operate your turn signal. All a driver must do is pull the lever on the left of the steering wheel up or down and a turn signal activates. So how often do you use yours? How many times have you encountered someone who did not use his blinker and you had to suddenly step on your brakes or change lanes to avoid a collision? Traffic is often moving at a fast pace and many accidents could easily be prevented if turn signals were used more often. It is one extra step that may be the difference between getting home safely or not. We insist that our children use a blinker when we teach them to drive but we often do not model that same practice.
I really think drivers underestimate the power of the turn signal. It is the only way other drivers are made aware of the direction a car wants to go. A driver’s turn signal allows others on the road to decide what they should be doing with their own vehicle. Drivers can change lanes to go around a motorist making a turn or prepare to slow down. Making a turn usually means slowing down so a turn signal is a warning that the brakes are about to be used. The turn signal is the only predictor of where a driver plans to go. Just as we have a duty to stop at a stop sign or red light, we have the responsibility to use our turn signal.
Yes, you are going to encounter that driver who will speed up to fill a hole in traffic when you turn on your signal to change lanes. You cannot prevent that but using your signal will probably reduce your risk of agitating other drivers and creating more road rage. I imagine you have been cut off on the highway. Everyone has experienced that. Using the signal gives people time to make a decision and react. No one plans on an accident and weekly, our office receives notice that a customer has been involved in one. Insurance premiums are high and having an accident on your record is one cause of that increase.
Turn signals are required to be used by law and a driver may be ticketed for not using them. It is such a small, seemingly insignificant action but it makes your journey so much safer. Avoid an accident or a near miss. Be a considerate driver. Let others on the road know your intentions. It’s as simple as a click up or down.